My original idea was to find an apartment available in posh Marais. My mom and I settled with a great looking place in Montmartre since we were very last minute with the booking. We couldn’t have been happier after having spent time in both locations. Marais is incredibly beautiful; high end boutiques and a stroll away from Notre Dame. But Montmartre is where you want to be for a long stay - the town is packed with indie designers, home to Sacre Coeur Basilica, high end dinning, and the famous Montmartre cemetery (One of the main burial grounds during the French Revolution and resting place to other infamous names such as Jean-Honoré Fragonard). Heads up fashion designers! Abbesses is overflowing with fabric stores!
It isn’t likely you’ll want expensive meals every night; in Montmartre we had endless choices at dozens of nearby markets. Our mornings normally looked like this (a chocolatine, café crème and a quiche from around the corner):
Bare in mind that tips are included in the price at restaurants in Paris. We found out this particular establishment charged nearly 50% extra for the service if you were to eat there rather than take out. Also, on the topic of coffee, unless you’re an espresso drinker you’ll have to be more specific when ordering a coffee. A café long or an amercano is the equivalent to ordering a coffee in North America.
My first night in Paris didn’t yield much sleep, so at 6am I sleepily trudged up the hill to Sacre Coeur to watch the sun rise. The town was more or less asleep minus a few shop owners, street cleaners and groups of boys drinking their last rounds for the night. This was the view from the base of the basilica:
I made a few visits to the cemetery since it was a 10 minute walk and housed approximately 100 feral cats (obviously I loved this). You’re likely to see anywhere from 5 to 20 on a given visit. I met an old woman who visits them daily, yelling names I assumed she gave to some and leaving food and water. I heard that this is a sort of dumping ground for people who move and need to get rid of their cats. I found this terribly sad because the population is out of control. Some of them are visibly ill and dirty or have broken/sprained paws. All 60 or so that I saw over the course of the week ran away from me save for one who purred and loved to be scratched around her ears.
The graves are so embellished that I would say it’s less eery than it is beautiful; a celebration of life and loved ones. The grave sites are so timely that there is actually an overpass built within a foot from some of the monuments.
My (personal) favourite place to walk around endlessly was Ile de la Cité and it’s surroundings (down to the Latin Quarter, through Marais to the Bastille, along the Seine to the Louvre and les Tuileries. The grandness of everything was overwhelming. The first day I spent there, as you can see, had the perfect sky for it:
The Eiffel tower is pretty spectacular. I think I enjoyed it better from a far due to the tourists. I gave up photographing it very quickly and joined the groups by sitting in the park with my Nutella Crepe (do you know they’re gaga for Nutella?)
Since I graduated university nearly a month ago my funds were at an all time low. I had more film than money in the bank so other than window shopping and student discounted museum visits I dedicated the trip to shooting. I narrowed down my 6 cameras at home to 3 so to not break my back. Here are some suggestions for photographer’s first visits to Paris:
• La Maison Européenne de le Photographie (MEP), located in Marais. It houses contemporary photography exhibits and permanent collections. Well worth a visit.
• Jeu de Paume is also well regarded for contemporary works with more attention to video installation and graphic design than the MEP, but I sadly missed my chance to see it.
If you’re in need of equipment there is Prophot who have more than one location (the Lozeau equivalent for Montrealers). For Prophot, used cameras, film, darkroom equipment and rentals (you name it) just walk down Boulevard Beaumarchais. Store after store after store! A must for any photographer.
We decided for our marché aux puces experience to go with Vanves, which had great reviews. It paid off! My mom was swooning over the antique art materials and I left with an arm full of goodies. I can’t recommend this flea market enough.
My last comments to accompany my digital shots was my day trip to Versailles. My mom decided to visit Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny while I made my way to the palace. We both met up for dinner in Montmartre, feet blistered and patience tested. There’s certain frustration when you visit a place that you’ve studied/seen in time pieces and imagined in your minds… overrun with tourists, tourist attractions, roped off areas and large billboards with colourful maps and information. You really have to put that aside and just remember where you are if you’re to fully enjoy it. My personal goal was to see the gardens and Marie Antoinette’s estate. The palace will have to be another visit for me, don’t expect to see everything in one day!
I can’t wait to be back. À tantôt, Paris!
7:17 pm • 15 May 2013 • 2 notes
Natasha & Jimmy Wedding - August 18 2012
Excited to post another great Hudson wedding! I really love this bride and groom, Tasha’s laugh is incredibly contagious. She wasn’t kidding when she said this was going to be a pink wonderland! I was so impressed walking into the tent during the cocktail hour, so tasteful, so girly, so simply stunning. And I spotted some familiarities.. A bird cage borrowed from my house for one ;) Especially the innovative and adorable cake topper done by talented local cake goddess - Katie Brecknock! I hope everyone enjoys this preview as much as I enjoyed shooting it! Congratulations Natasha & Jimmy!
10:32 pm • 4 September 2012
Vanya & Patricio Married - August 2012
I’m extremely excited to share this wedding since it’s the first time I’m posting work taken with my full frame camera! This was certainly a huge leap for me in my professional career as a photographer and I feel guilty for not making this happen sooner. I’m happy that Vanya and Patricio were my first couple to get this quality in their wedding photos, what a sweet couple. They were completely willing to do what I suggested, I love having that trust from my clients. They were also simply happy to make this union with their friends and family and for their 3 year old son. Congratulations Vanya & Patricio!
1:12 pm • 28 August 2012 • 1 note
Sophie & Jean-Sébastien Engaged - July 2012
I met with the adorable couple in the plateau and they insisted on having a drink together before getting started. We talked details for their wedding day coming up in September, got inspired and loosened up a bit for our shoot in the park. I’m extremely excited to see what their wedding day will be like, this couple has mighty good taste!
11:51 am • 23 August 2012
Annaliese & Johannes Married - May 2012
Annaliese & Johannes’ wedding was a fresh modern city wedding that fit the couple’s personal aesthetic beautifully. The decor was a black canvas embellished with glass, crystals and beautiful orange accents and orange lighting. They were wonderful to work with, always making sure I had a glass of bubbly to ring in the celebration with them! I was also thrilled to see Chris and Carly, a couple that I worked with for their own wedding 2 seasons ago. Congratulations Annaliese & Johannes!
12:44 pm • 21 August 2012
Karine & Alain Married - July 2012
I was thrilled to have met this couple, their relentless appreciation for all of the work that was put into capturing their wedding day and their genuine excitement when seeing the photos was hard to match. All of the challenging aspects of shooting a wedding are utterly worth it for clients such as these! I enjoyed their passion for using lots of colour. Karine admitted that she was very anxious to pose for the camera but she obviously has knack for working the lens - they also never took the smile off their faces during the party. Thank you and congratulations Karine & Alain!
12:38 pm • 19 August 2012
Karine & Alain’s Engagement - July 2012
Our shoot together took place in a spot that was dear to Karine & Alain - They would often come here to unwind on the weekends. I could tell why they loved coming here so much. They are both such sweet people who had full faith in me, it’s always a wonderful feeling. Karine is such a giggler and self proclaimed shy person, and yet like light!- she can turn into a model. Alain wasn’t so bad himself! So very looking forward to photographing their wedding day this coming weekend!
1:03 pm • 16 July 2012
A visit to Gloucester
Last week I set off to Boston with a friend. We hit up the beach, ate “fried dough”, made sand castles and took lots of photos. Here are a few snaps.
8:02 pm • 15 July 2012 • 1 note
Suzie & Shaun - Engagement June 2012
I’ve never been more proud to show off a set of photos that encompass my work, and the story of two people who’ve decided to share their lives together. This is saying a lot because every experience with a client is a memory I now have to look back on and feel proud that I was there with them for it. This however, is one of my oldest friends, and the first of our inner circle to say “I do”. Nothing could feel more heartwarming! We’ve talked about this day of photos together since their engagement was only whispers, and since it became official we’ve been discussing what we might do to make it special. I’m unbelievably excited for the wedding day next summer to photograph as well let loose and toast my beautiful Suzie for marrying the wonderful man of her dreams!
8:10 pm • 13 June 2012 • 2 notes
Ashley & Bruce - Wedding Day May 2012
A short 2 weeks after the engagement shoot and we were all walking toward the look out of Montreal, where Ashley and Bruce would marry. The place was quiet, being a Monday. It was perfect. I found it incredibly romantic that Bruce picked out his favourite spot, one with a backdrop of trees; the place he most wanted to stand when he married his fiancé. I was honoured to be present at this private ceremony (7 people in total including myself). Congratulations Ashley & Bruce!
1:02 am • 13 June 2012
Cindy & Eric Engagement - May 2012
I met this couple after their friend graciously offered her this session with me as an engagement gift! The couple have been together 9 years and decided to tie the knot. Their decision must come as no surprise as there were a few points in time where it seemed they forgot I was there completely! Two people so wrapped up in each other’s attention is a lovely thing to witness. We had a great afternoon at this location that I was introduced to last summer from a couple I worked with in Lasalle. I loved it so much I was excited to see it again. Congratulations, Cindy and Eric!
10:50 pm • 3 June 2012
Kamilla, Tyler & Kalli
Two weeks ago I met up with the happy family to grab some shots of their newest member Kalli! Being only a month old she was happy to rest on daddy’s shoulder or in mommy’s arms, only crying on occasion to protest the hot day. A few bobs up and down in the air and she was happy to continue! Thanks to the family for letting me hang out with them on this gorgeous afternoon!
7:03 pm • 2 June 2012
2 artists, 2 days in New York City
My mom and I decided to visit NYC on a whim. Her with the intention of visiting an art convention and the two of us hitting up as many stores, galleries, and restaurants based on recommendations and a little research. We found a blog written by a mother and daughter team who did a similar trip, so I’m inspired to leave you with a detailed post on our own adventure.
We arrived at the Milford Hotel (designed on the inside to mimic the set of a movie). Our neighbour was the one and only Times Square. Our first stop was straight to Bryant Park for lunch, eager to see the home of the city’s biggest fashion show.
We can now honestly recommend Wichcraft for lunch. They have a Café booth and a booth for lunch. Everything was fantastic (we know because we went back for dessert and coffee on day 2). It isn’t surprising that the owner is a creator of Hell’s Kitchen.
We went straight for Soho to get the most of New York’s shopping experience. Necessary clothing is a chain you’ll see everywhere similar to Forever 21, full of fresh fashion for $20 a piece. Of course we popped into the most high end stores Soho had to offer.
Along the way we found stores that look so tiny and secret that you’re shocked to walk in and see that it’s huge and full of people. This Antique Shop, which I believe was partly the name, had everything you could think of, and everything you couldn’t.
We stopped at this point, already feeling our skin tan from the sun, for a white wine sangria and a croissant at a stunning restaurant called the Cupping Room. The sangria was topped with alcohol infused pineapple and oranges, and the croissant was about as big as my head. Yum! The Cupping Room was beautiful to sit in as well.
Our walk to Union Square destroyed our feet at this point, but we were glad for the walk because we happened on even more galleries and cafés worth seeing. The unusual paintings in this bar & lounge made me eager to take out my camera long enough until someone noticed I wasn’t ordering anything.
We got lucky by passing Anthropology and ABC accidentally/on purpose. We hadn’t mapped out the exact location but there we were. ABC is by far the most need-to-see store for any artist and lover of interior design, I swear I felt like a kid in santa’s work shop!
We didn’t walk inside but we said a fond hello to Tim Gun as we walked by Parson’s School of Design. All Project Runway fans will understand our enthusiasm!
We spent the rest of the trip taking in other obvious locations for shopping such as Macy’s. I ventured alone to B&H on day 2, the one stop shop and heaven on earth for all photographers! I kid you not when I say I was glowing and attempted to carry so many toys to the cash that my arms were overflowing! I had to be choosy if I wanted to afford my next camera body so I settled on a few items and I at least got to play with the 5D Mark III.
We had a mediocre at best dinner on night one at a restaurant called Marseille on 44th and 9th Avenue. We had heard good things but on day 2 decided that choosing a restaurant on foot was best - we were rewarded by walked on 46th and having more choice than ever. We settled on an Italian restaurant called Lattanzi. Gorgeous on the inside and unbelievably delicious. My mouth waters thinking back on the chicken I ordered exploding with rosemary and garlic.
Sweet tooth like our family? The Magnolia Bakery on the corner beside Rockefeller Plaza was our dessert. Once again, we went more than once to this place.
As short as our trip was, I couldn’t have felt happier walking the streets of NYC with no real agenda except for enjoying myself. That wasn’t very hard to do.
9:27 pm • 23 May 2012 • 1 note
Ashley & Bruce Engagement Session May 11 2012
Ashley contacted me a month ago regarding a small wedding, consisting of 4 people in total, to take place in May on Mont Royal. The couple live in Vermont but chose Montreal for their intimate ceremony because they love coming here. They were insistent on having a session with me before the big day so they could include their pups; Margo and Bolo. We followed the beaten paths to avoid too many other people.
They were requested to leave a notice however the location wasn’t necessary. So we found the tree, so secluded you wouldn’t know that you were in the middle of Montreal, stating that they were to get married on the mountain. I wonder how long it will stay there and who might end up finding it in the future, long after they become Mr. and Mrs.
7:53 pm • 13 May 2012